Archives de catégorie : better to know…?

Plastic pollution in the Antarctic worse than expected

by British Antarctic Survey, June 19, 2017 in ClimateChangeDispatch

The levels of microplastic particles accumulating in the Antarctic are much worse than expected, a team of experts has warned.

The continent is considered to be a pristine wilderness compared to other regions and was thought to be relatively free from plastic pollution. However new findings by scientists from University of Hull and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have revealed that recorded levels of microplastics are five times higher than you would expect to find from local sources such as research stations and ships

Denmark Is Killing Tesla (and Other Electric Cars)

by Peter Levring, June 2, 2017 in Bloomberg

The electric car has dropped out of favor in the country that pioneered renewable energy.

Sales in Denmark of Electrically Chargeable Vehicles (ECV), which include plug-in hybrids, plunged 60.5 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared with the first three months of 2016, according to latest data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). That contrasts with an increase of nearly 80 percent in neighboring Sweden and an average rise of 30 percent in the European Union.

River plastic emissions to the world’s oceans

by Laurent Lebreton et al., June 7, 2017 in Nature Communication

Plastics in the marine environment have become a major concern because of their persistence at sea, and adverse consequences to marine life and potentially human health. Implementing mitigation strategies requires an understanding and quantification of marine plastic sources, taking spatial and temporal variability into account. Here we present a global model of plastic inputs from rivers into oceans based on waste management, population density and hydrological information.

Earth’s forests just grew 9% in a new satellite survey

by J.F. Bastin et al., May 11, 2017 in ScienceDaily

in Science May 11, 2017

The Age of Exploration may be long past, but even in the 21st century, our maps can still get a major update. Using satellite imagery, a new study has found hidden forests all over the world—almost enough for a second Amazon—in areas with little moisture known as drylands.


A new estimate of dryland forests suggests that the global forest cover is at least 9 percent higher than previously thought. The finding will help reduce uncertainties surrounding terrestrial carbon sink estimates.

See also L‘équipe d’un chercheur belge découvre 467 millions d’hectares de forêt passés sous les radars

They are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up

by Jasmin Fox-Skelly, BBC, May 4, 2017

Throughout history, humans have existed side-by-side with bacteria and viruses. From the bubonic plague to smallpox, we have evolved to resist them, and in response they have developed new ways of infecting us.

However, what would happen if we were suddenly exposed to deadly bacteria and viruses that have been absent for thousands of years, or that we have never met before?

Five reasons blog posts are of higher scientific quality than journal articles

by Daniel Lakens, April 14, 2017

The Dutch toilet cleaner ‘WC-EEND’ (literally: ‘Toilet Duck’) aired a famous commercial in 1989 that had the slogan ‘We from WC-EEND advise… WC-EEND’. It is now a common saying in The Netherlands whenever someone gives an opinion that is clearly aligned with their self-interest. In this blog, I will examine the hypothesis that blogs are, on average, of higher quality than journal articles. Below, I present 5 arguments in favor of this hypothesis.  [EDIT: I’m an experimental psychologist. Mileage of what you’ll read below may vary in other disciplines].

See discussion here

China’s Hunger For Cars

by Dyfed Loesche , 


With soaring car sales in China in mind, U.S. President Donald Trump might want to sway his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to grant American manufacturers easy access to the Chinese market. In 2008, sales in China caught up with those in the United States (at 6.7 million units). In 2016, sales stood at a whopping 24.4 million and counting. Sales of cars in other big manufacturing nations are almost stagnant.